You can find my previous post for plans for the 2013-2014 plans here (term 4 plans), here (history for terms 1 & 2), here (updates in the first term), here (Caleb's original 7th grade plans), and here (Tyler's original 4th grade plans).
I think rereading these post will tell you most of the changes that went on throughout the year and give you links to the products we used.
I could easily double the size of this post by going into great details about everything, but I'll be keeping those notes to myself. If you have questions, please ask in the comments or email me. I would love a discussion!
In our last week of school we did an End of Term 4 Evaluation, much like the one we did at the end of the third term. This form of testing is a great tool! I was able to compare the test to the previous term and compare our work load (I had a lot less questions this term, so I knew we covered less material). I was also able to see which books/subjects the boys enjoyed/disliked and which ones they struggled with or found easy (through there oral and written narrations). The boys also did the PASS Test. According to Missouri law we do NOT have to do testing. The law does ask for evaluation and I decided to accomplish that with standardize testing this year. We took the same test last year. I will not do the testing again, although it was helpful and it went fine. Besides those evaluation, the boys did a questionnaire for me. Last year they refused to fill it out, but this year they enjoyed telling me how the school year went.
I decided to give you a run down of the boys answers from the questionnaire.
Favorites: Life of Fred (absolute favorite), Mike Graf book (another absolute favorite), The New Way Things Works (science 2nd term), PE-tennis at the YMCA (homeschool class), free writing, Five For Victory, and the All Saints Day party that I put together for the boys.
Least Favorite: Family Time Fitness, religion, math, all science except the one listed above, Shakespeare, Latin, and reading. : (
Easiest subject he listed as free writing and he listed the hardest thing as any assigned reading and Winston Grammar.
Favorites: Fix It! (absolute favorite), Francis and Clare
book (another absolute favorite), keyboarding, bird study, nature study, read aloud time, free reading, Our United States of America, and many of the same things Tyler listed too (LOF, Mike Graf book, The New Way Things Work, tennis).
Least Favorites: IEW Student Writing Intensive, map work, Latin, Family Time fitness, free writing.
Caleb listed his easiest subject as Life of Fred (as it should be since he was reading along with Tyler). He listed his hardest subject as history.
Personally, I really enjoyed the Fix It! grammar program from IEW and can't wait to start Tyler in it next year. I enjoyed our morning basket routine that is modeled after Jen's @ Wildflowers and Marbles. I certainly didn't enjoy Life of Fred and made Caleb read the books to Tyler and eventually they started reading them on their own. It looks like I will need to continue buying them for Tyler. We have yet to find a history plan that works for our family. I do know living books are the way to go though! This subject will get changed again next year.
Language Arts will be our focus for next year. I haven't received our PASS results yet, but I don't think they made much improvement this year. Most of this was my fault as I struggled with teaching this subject. I have spent a lot of time in research and feel pretty good about next year though.
started planning our summer term and the 2014-2015 school year. Unlike
the previous year, I feel like I actually learned a few things about how
to teach my kids and I have a better idea of how they function. This
should make next year even better.